Posted on

Judge says he will declare a mistrial if prosecution witness “even mentions” carbon monoxide blood tests

Pool

After the defense rests its case, Judge Peter Cahill will allow the prosecution to call a witness to rebut some of the testimony by defense expert witness, Dr. David Fowler. But the judge said that he will limit what the witness can testify about.

During a court proceeding this morning prior to the jury coming in, both sides argued over the rebuttal testimony.

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the judge that the prosecution had new evidence to present regarding carbon monoxide in George Floyd’s blood. Yesterday, Dr. Fowler, a retired forensic pathologist, said it was possible that carbon monoxide ingestion from the tailpipe of the car that Floyd was pinned on the ground near could have contributed to his death.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said he opposed allowing the prosecution to present this evidence and call its rebuttal witness. Nelson argued that the disclosure of these new test results was untimely. He said that he only received the information last night after court had wrapped for the day.

The prosecution indicated in court that the witness they will call to rebut Fowler’s testimony is Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist that testified at trial that Floyd died of “low oxygen levels.”

The judge ruled that Tobin can testify however, he is not allowed to tell the jury about the test results. He said that any mention of these records will result in a mistrial.

Posted on

Best online sales right now

(CNN) —  

Today, you’ll find a deal on our top external hard drive pick, a discounted Eufy robo vac and savings on Apple’s AirPods Pro. All that and more below.

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro

Samsung’s newest and best earbuds are down to one of the lowest prices we’ve seen, at $35 off on Woot! for one day only. Snag your own pair of Galaxy Buds Pro — our top earbuds pick for Android users — for just $164.99 in Phantom Black, Phantom Silver or Phantom Violet; just be sure to shop soon, as they’re likely to sell out fast. In our review of the buds, we found that they offer crystal-clear sound, feel great in your ears, boast a solid battery life and excel at letting in ambient noise when you want them to. Read our full assessment of the Galaxy Buds Pro here.

Allswell

Allswell

Allswell

You’ll sleep soundly knowing you saved big on mattresses, bedding and decor at Allswell’s latest sitewide sale. Use code BLOOM to take 15% off a range of blankets, pillows, duvets, sheets and more, many of which come in contemporary patterns that will boost the look of your space as well as your comfort level at bedtime. Not to mention, the brand makes a range of hybrid mattresses that are sure to give you sweet dreams this spring.

WD 500GB My Passport SSD External Portable Solid-State Drive

Amazon

WD 500GB My Passport SSD External Portable Solid-State Drive

Our top pick for best external hard drive is back down to its lowest price ever. The WD My Passport SSD is available at both Amazon and Best Buy for just $79.99 — that’s $50 off its list price. In our hands-on test of this SSD, we were impressed by just how fast files transferred; we were able to back up Word documents in just a few seconds, full photo albums in less than 20 seconds and even large video files in under a minute. And it certainly has space for your entire digital library and then some.

Apple AirPods Pro

Apple

Apple AirPods Pro

Our — and really, everyone’s — favorite true wireless earbuds are back down to a respectable sale price on Amazon and Walmart. Right now you can score your very own pair of AirPods Pro — complete with wireless charging case, active noise cancellation, transparency mode, adaptive EQ and all the other features you know and love — for just $197, the lowest price we’ve seen since February. Just be sure to shop before they sell out or the price goes back up.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C

Amazon

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C

Leave vacuuming to this discounted robo vac from Eufy. Back down to $179.99 from $299.99, the popular 30C uses 1500Pa of suction power to ensure more debris is picked up across all surfaces and anti-collision sensors to avoid bumping into objects. Plus, Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to schedule cleanings via mobile app, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and it’s relatively quiet too.

  • Sephora’s Spring Savings Event is finally open to all Beauty Insiders starting today with code OMGSPRING.
  • Nordy Club members get exclusive access to Clear the Rack at Nordstrom Rack, featuring an extra 25% off clearance items, today only.
  • Let your creativity flow with these one-day deals on top-rated Aretza art supplies at Amazon.
  • Amazon is marking down a range of Anker accessories, including USB hubs, chargers and cables, for just one day.
  • This two-pack Netgear Orbi Pro Tri-Band Mesh Wi-Fi System is down to its lowest price ever at Amazon right now.
  • Use code HIDDEN10 to get an extra 10% off already low prices at Fossil’s latest flash sale.
  • Snag a pair of Samsung Galaxy Buds+ from Best Buy for under $100 — that’s $50 off the list price.
  • Now through April 20, Yeti is letting you customize drinkware with a monogram for free in honor of Mother’s Day.
  • Get in the game with Best Buy’s one-day deals on select HyperX gear, including a headset, mouse and keyboard.
  • Build up your Lego collection with these deals on select kits at Amazon.

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask

Drink in some deals on several items from Hydro Flask at this Nordstrom Rack flash sale. Several of the brand’s beloved water bottles are 25% off in certain sizes and colors, as are select Soft Cooler Packs, Insulated Totes and Bottle Slings. You’ll also find deals on tumblers, cooler cups and more so you can stay hydrated without spending a fortune.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer

Stock up on outdoor gear from Eddie Bauer and get ready to enjoy better spring weather. Right now you can score up to 60% off select styles, including jeans, polos, fleeces and more, at the brand’s Get Outside Sale. There’s no promo code necessary to snag the savings — and now there’s also no excuse not to embark on an outdoor adventure of your own.

Adidas

Adidas

Adidas

Adidas

There’s never been a better time to gear up your kids for a new season at Adidas, since the brand is offering up to 30% off apparel, shoes and accessories for the youngest athletes among us with code GEARUP. This is a Buy More, Save More sale, so you’ll save 20% on two items and 30% off when you buy three or more.

Refurbished Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones ($199.99, originally $349.99; ebay.com)

Refurbished Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Amazon

Refurbished Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

It’s safe to say the Sony WH-1000XM4 are some of our favorite headphones, as they were our pick for best over-ear and best noise-canceling cans. Right now you can get a refurbished pair of the best headphones on the market back at the ultra-low price of $199.99. They boast industry-leading sound quality and stellar noise cancellation, and they have a 30-hour battery life so you can jam all day long.

Ulta

Ulta

Ulta

Ulta

Through April 17, Ulta is offering deep discounts on some of its bestselling essentials at the Spring Haul Event. Stock up on your favorites from top brands like L’Oréal, Maybelline, Revlon, Pixi and more, or take this as an opportunity to discover new favorites, like a satisfyingly gross foot peel from Baby Foot.

Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite (starting at $69.99; amazon.com)

Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon

Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite

If you’re in the market for a solid e-reader and don’t mind a refurb, consider this page-turner of an Amazon deal on a couple of Kindle Paperwhite devices. These models have either 8GB or 32GB of storage, so both casual and voracious readers can find the perfect Paperwhite for their library’s needs. And starting at just $69.99, the lightweight e-reader is a total steal, and you’ll still be getting features like weeks-long battery life and an easy-on-the-eyes screen that reads like a real page.

Echo Show 10 ($199.99, originally $249.99; amazon.com)

Echo Show 10

Amazon

Echo Show 10

If you’re looking to add Alexa to your home, now’s your chance to pick up the Echo Show 10 — Amazon’s latest, most advanced smart display — at an all-time low price. This device’s 10-inch display sits atop a motorized circular base, allowing it to automatically spin to keep you in frame during video chats or to keep content in your line of vision, and right now it’s $50 off at $199.99 . Plus, it boasts all the Echo Show features you’re already familiar with, like access to entertainment streaming services and, naturally, the famously helpful voice assistant. For more information, read our full review.

Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp ($30.59, originally $59.99; amazon.com)

Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp

If you find yourself feeling SAD during the darker months of the year, consider picking up our favorite light therapy lamp for travel while it’s on sale. The Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp is down to just $30.59, the lowest price we’ve seen in over a year, from its usual $59.99 price tag. Though the light’s surface area is relatively small, we loved how it folds up to fit in carry-ons and small spaces and boasts brightness options and adjustable light direction in a tiny but mighty package.

Sephora

Sephora

Sephora

Sephora

Beauty lovers, rejoice! Sephora’s Beauty Insider Spring Savings Event, during which members of the beauty store’s loyalty program scoop up major deals from major brands, is now open to just top-tier Rouge members. Those who have attained Rouge status can snag a 20% off sitewide discount when they use code OMGSPRING now through April 19, while VIBs will be able to save 15% starting on April 13 and Insiders will be 10% off starting on April 15. Start shopping as soon as you’re able in order to avoid your favorite beauty buy selling out during this stellar savings event.

EarFun Air ($53.99, originally $59.99; amazon.com)

EarFun Air

Amazon

EarFun Air

If you’re looking to spend less than $100 on earbuds, go with the EarFun Air. We named these buds our top pick for best budget earbuds after five months of testing, and they snagged the title of “best earbuds for working from home” too. Best of all, right now the white EarFun Air colorway is even cheaper than usual, thanks to an extra 10% off when you clip the on-page coupon at Amazon. Sounds like a pretty great deal to us.

Apt2B

Apt2B

Apt2B

Apt2B

Whether you’re looking for a few new pieces of decor to spruce up your space or you’re in need of something bigger, like a sofa or dresser, look no further than Apt2B’s 10th Anniversary Sale. Through April 19, the home retailer is taking 15% off storewide, 20% off orders of $2,999 or more and 25% off orders of $3,999 or more, so you can find stylish home goods for far cheaper than usual.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

Spring has officially arrived at The Home Depot. At the mega home retailer’s Spring Savings Event, shoppers save up big on thousands of items necessary to usher in a new season, including outdoor power tools, cleaning products, grills, patio furniture and more. It’s just the occasion you’ve been waiting for to revamp your home and outdoor space.

For more great deals, check out CNN Coupons.

Posted on

Derek Chauvin is on trial for George Floyd’s death

Pool

After the defense rests its case, Judge Peter Cahill will allow the prosecution to call a witness to rebut some of the testimony by defense expert witness, Dr. David Fowler. But the judge said that he will limit what the witness can testify about.

During a court proceeding this morning prior to the jury coming in, both sides argued over the rebuttal testimony.

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told the judge that the prosecution had new evidence to present regarding carbon monoxide in George Floyd’s blood. Yesterday, Dr. Fowler, a retired forensic pathologist, said it was possible that carbon monoxide ingestion from the tailpipe of the car that Floyd was pinned on the ground near could have contributed to his death.

Defense attorney Eric Nelson said he opposed allowing the prosecution to present this evidence and call its rebuttal witness. Nelson argued that the disclosure of these new test results was untimely. He said that he only received the information last night after court had wrapped for the day.

The prosecution indicated in court that the witness they will call to rebut Fowler’s testimony is Dr. Martin Tobin, a pulmonologist that testified at trial that Floyd died of “low oxygen levels.”

The judge ruled that Tobin can testify however, he is not allowed to tell the jury about the test results. He said that any mention of these records will result in a mistrial.

Posted on

A former medical examiner testified for Chauvin’s defense yesterday. Here’s what he said.

Maryland’s former chief medical examiner testified for Derek Chauvin’s defense on Wednesday that George Floyd died due to his underlying heart disease — not the police restraint.

“In my opinion, Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, or cardiac arrhythmia, due to his atherosclerosis and hypertensive heart disease … during his restraint and subdual by the police,” said Dr. David Fowler, a forensic pathologist.

Floyd had narrowed coronary arteries, known as atherosclerosis, and an enlarged heart due to his high blood pressure, or hypertension, Fowler said. Floyd’s fentanyl and methamphetamine use and a tumor known as a paraganglioma were other significant conditions that contributed to his death, he said.

Fowler also put forth a novel argument that carbon monoxide from the squad car’s exhaust may have contributed to his death.

In all, he said Floyd’s death should have been classified as “undetermined,” rather than a homicide, because there were so many competing causes.

The testimony cuts at the prosecution’s argument, bolstered by five separate medical experts, that Floyd’s primary cause of death was Chauvin’s restraint of a handcuffed Floyd in the prone position — known as “positional asphyxia.” To get a guilty verdict, prosecutors have to prove that Chauvin’s actions were a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death.

Watch:

Posted on

WHO: Europe surpasses one million Covid-19 deaths

Syringes containing a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are seen at a clinic in Los Angeles, California, on April 10. Mario Tama/Getty Images

The US could have an estimated 300 million excess Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of July, according to a report from Duke University.

Researchers used data on the US government’s advance purchase commitments with drug giants to arrive at the estimate.

The country has commitments for vaccines with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax.

The AstraZeneca and Novavax shots are yet to receive emergency use authorization in the US, according to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

The report authors also reviewed vaccine production timelines and used US Census data to estimate demand.

Their estimate accounts for the nation retaining enough doses for most children in the country.

The researchers also assume that 75% of the US population will receive a two-dose vaccine and 25% will receive a single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Given the recent pause that will limit use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the US, their projections may not be entirely accurate.

Regardless, the US and other wealthier countries should expect to have a vaccine surplus in the future, the authors write.

Currently, 10 nations that amount to less than half the world’s population have used three-quarters of Covid-19 vaccine doses, but many poorer countries still don’t have a supply at all. 

“The world’s wealthiest nations have locked up much of the near-term supply. At the current rate vaccines are being administered, 92 of the world’s poorest countries won’t vaccinate 60% of their populations until 2023 or later,” write Dr. Krishna Udayakumar, director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center and Dr. Mark McClellan, director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.
“Now is the time to advance an effective plan for distributing additional excess doses as they become available.”

The authors say the US should invest more to strengthen the COVAX vaccine scheme and make excess doses available to other nations.

They also write that the US should support other nations so they can produce vaccines on their own.

 

Posted on

Jamie Dimon says ‘American dream is fraying’

“The American dream is fraying and income inequality is like the fault line,” Dimon said in an interview with David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and senior political commentator for CNN, for The Axe Files podcast earlier this week.
Dimon’s interview took place before JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reported its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday. The JPMorgan Chase chief told Axelrod that the good news for many Americans is that the economy is getting better — in part due to stimulus from the federal government.

“The consumer today has a tremendous amount of money, mostly from stimulus and unemployment checks, et cetera. Their balance sheets are in very good shape. Their confidence levels are going up,” Dimon said, adding that homeowners and people with stock portfolios are benefiting the most.

“There’s going to be a little bit of a euphoria coming out of the pandemic,” he said. “That will definitely, in my view, fuel a very strong economy for years.”

Dimon said he was optimistic that the US could be in a “Goldilocks scenario” for several years, in which inflation and long-term bond yields rise but “in a measured way.” So he’s not worried the Federal Reserve will have to slam the brakes on the economy and raise short-term rates.

But Dimon did not mince words when discussing the many challenges faced by the nation’s poor — as well as the continued injustices that Black Americans are enduring.

The May 2020 death of George Floyd after former police officer Derek Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck “highlighted racial inequality that’s been there for hundreds of years,” Dimon said, referring to the killing as “murder” several times during the interview. Chauvin is currently on trial.
Dimon addressed many of these societal and racial concerns in his annual shareholder letter earlier this month as well.

He said in the interview with Axelrod that the bank is committed to spend more to help Blacks get jobs and finance affordable loans for housing. He added that JPMorgan Chase is also lending more to Black-owned small businesses and looking to hire and train more minority wealth managers.

Dimon also told Axelrod that there are “serious problems” in the US, including infrastructure, education and health care.

“America is exceptional. America has an unbelievable hand. But we need to do something to fix these problems,” he said.

“The only way you’re going to fix it is to attack it at a very detailed level. Business can do its share. Government obviously is critical to doing this right, because businesses can’t do it by itself,” Dimon added. “But I think it’s time to attack it.”

He also supports raising the minimum wage to “a much higher number” and endorsed the idea that the nation’s richest individuals should pay more in taxes to help fund these programs. It’s something that mega-billionaire Warren Buffett has talked about for years.

But Dimon said he was against significant tax hikes on many businesses.

“If you’ve got to raise taxes, do it on the income of the wealthy, like a Buffett type of tax. That will be far more effective in growing the economy than taxing primary capital formation,” he said.

Speaking of Buffett, JPMorgan Chase had hoped to address the health care issue more directly through a partnership with Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) and Amazon (AMZN). But the joint venture, dubbed Haven, shut down in February after just three years in existence.

“We didn’t really need the three of us to do it,” Dimon admitted to Axelrod, adding that legal restrictions for banks made it harder at times.

But Dimon is not giving up on coming up with a solution to make health care more affordable for Americans.

“We haven’t given up this one. We’re going to take another crack at it,” he said. “I’ve learned more about health care than I’ve ever wanted to.”

Posted on

Secretary of State Blinken visits Afghanistan day after US announces plans for withdrawal

Blinken touched down in the Afghan capital less than 24 hours after the United States and the NATO coalition formally announced they would withdraw their troops from the country after nearly two decades.

In remarks during his meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the top US diplomat said he “wanted to demonstrate, with my visit, the ongoing commitment of the United States to the Islamic Republic and the people of Afghanistan,” according to the press pool traveling with Blinken.

“The partnership is changing, but the partnership is enduring,” he said.

Prior to that meeting, Blinken told US troops at the American embassy that the reason he was there “so quickly after the President’s speech last night is to demonstrate literally, by our presence, that we have an enduring, an ongoing commitment to Afghanistan.”

“What you and your predecessors did over the last 20 years is really extraordinary.”

President Joe Biden said Wednesday he would withdraw US troops from Afghanistan before September 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that launched the war.

Biden said the withdrawal will begin on May 1, in line with an agreement President Donald Trump’s administration made with the Taliban. Some US troops will remain to protect American diplomats, though officials have declined to provide a precise number.

Biden said American diplomatic and humanitarian efforts will continue in Afghanistan and that the US will support peace efforts between the Afghan government and the Taliban. But he was unequivocal that two decades after it began, the Afghanistan War is ending.

This story has been updated with additional information.

Posted on

Infrastructure negotiations: 4 things to watch on Capitol Hill

At the same time, however, they have made clear they do believe there is room for bipartisan consensus on infrastructure as members of both parties have long agreed that investment is needed to help shore up and rebuild the country’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Now, GOP lawmakers are grappling with the question of what exactly they would support, with some openly discussing a potential price tag far lower than what the White House is pushing.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, suggested during an interview on CNBC on Tuesday that a “sweet spot” for a bipartisan deal could come in at $600 billion to $800 billion.

“What I’d like to do is get back to what I consider the regular definition of infrastructure in terms of job creation. So that’s roads, bridges, ports, airports — including broadband into that — water infrastructure,” Capito said during the interview. “I think the best way for us to do this is hit the sweet spot of where we agree, and I think we can agree on a lot of the measures moving forward. How much? I would say probably into the $600 or $800 billion, but we haven’t put all of that together yet.”

The comments show that Republicans are discussing in specific terms what they would accept as a potential alternative or counter to the President’s plan. But the range Capito cited is significantly less than Biden has proposed, underscoring a clear partisan divide over cost.

But there are signs Republicans haven’t reached consensus

In a sign that Republicans haven’t reached their own consensus yet, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told reporters on Wednesday that he thinks his Republican Senate colleague’s potential $800 billion top-line idea “seems a little high.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, on the other hand, told reporters, “If it’s for roads and bridges, I’d be pretty good with it, and associated things,” when asked about the possibility of an $800 billion package.

Romney also told CNN that a group of Republicans are trying to work on their own infrastructure plan.

The longer the negotiation effort goes on without Republicans having a concrete counteroffer, the more pressure they will face to come up with an alternative proposal.

GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska put it this way to reporters: “We must present an alternative. If we think this is too big, how would we pare it down, how would we define it? How would we pay for it?”

What Sanders’ comments say about where Democrats stand

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, pushed back on a possible price tag in the $600 billion to $800 billion range, saying that figure would be “nowhere near what we need.”

“We’ve been talking about infrastructure, physical infrastructure for literally decades, Democrats and Republicans. We have major crises in terms of roads, bridges, water systems, affordable housing, you name it, that is nowhere near what we need,” Sanders said when asked about a potential $600 billion figure. “Not to mention, of course, we’ve got to address the existential threat of climate change.”

Sanders is further to the left than many Senate Democrats with whom he caucuses, but his comments nevertheless underscore a widely shared feeling among Democrats that it’s important to go big when it comes to infrastructure, a key priority for the party and the President, and that infrastructure, to them, doesn’t just mean roads and bridges anymore.

Democrats are making clear their unwillingness to significantly scale back their demands in the face of GOP pushback.

“The bottom line is we have major crises and we have to deal with them,” Sanders said.

Prospects for bipartisanship narrow

Amid these divides over policy, scope, size and price tag, the prospects for a bipartisan deal are swiftly narrowing on Capitol Hill.

Despite overtures from the White House to host Republicans in the Oval Office and Biden’s continued promise to reach across the aisle, Republicans are skeptical the meetings will lead to substantive progress. Here are some examples of what GOP lawmakers are saying:

  • Capito lamented the way negotiations crumbled over the Covid-19 relief bill, which passed Congress on a party-line vote. “Here is where the disconnect that I am concerned about is: We are going (to the White House), we are negotiating, the President is being very sincere, but in the end, we get rolled because there is a partisan process. You saw that happen under Covid, and I am concerned about it,” she said.
  • Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota questioned Democrats’ interpretation of what infrastructure means: “The question is whether they are willing to do a truly infrastructure bill or whether they want to do the big government bill, and if they want to do the big government bill it is hard to see how you would get a lot of Republicans to vote for what they are talking about.”
  • Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas told CNN that so far he’s “seen no evidence” that Biden plans to involve Republicans and modify the bill, pointing to the drafting of the proposal. “I hope to get a bipartisan infrastructure package, but I have not felt it,” he said.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan contributed to this report.

Posted on

Nepal’s rhino population grows to highest in decades as pandemic pauses tourism

The population of rhinos across four national parks in Nepal increased to 752 in the latest count, up by more than 100 from 645 animals in 2015, according to Haribhadra Acharya, information officer at Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC).

Since 2000, no previous survey of rhino populations by the Nepali government has found more than 650 of the animals.

Acharya said the tally was calculated by teams who divided the huge rhino habitat into squares and then counted the animals inside manually, sometimes riding domesticated elephants to cover the distances between areas.

It took about three weeks to count all the rhinos by a “direct sighting method,” with Chitwan National Park proving the most difficult area due to its large population of the animals, Acharya said. According to the 2015 census of the rhinos, 90% of the animals lived in the park.

Acharya said the rise in population was the result of a number of changes, including investment in habitat management, controlling poaching and translocation of rhinos between habitats.

“Chitwan (National Park) is a major habitat for rhinos in Nepal but we have translocated them to (other parks) to make an alternate population and (as a result) the population has increased in those parks, and in Chitwan as well,” Acharya said.

But Acharya said the pandemic, which stopped both domestic and international travelers to the national parks, was likely also a factor. “Because the tourists were almost zero, the habits were not disturbed,” he said.

Nepal’s success stands in contrast to many coronavirus-hit conservation projects that have seen a drop in tourism and corresponding fall in funding, including in South America and Africa.

Fewer than 2,200 one-horned rhinos

The greater one-horned rhino is listed as a vulnerable species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List, with fewer than 2,200 of the animals remaining in India and Nepal. It is already extinct in Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The rhino has come under threat from poachers due to its horn, used in traditional Asian medicine, according to Nepal’s DNPWC.

A rhino horn can grow up to 8.25 inches (21 cm) long, and they are trafficked despite having no proven medical or therapeutic benefit. Armed guards have in the past patrolled the parks’ borders in an effort to deter poachers.

A 2016 paper in the International Journal of Applied and Natural Sciences said local people had been given rewards for information on rhino-related illicit activities.

“Poaching or trade in wildlife products continue to pose a serious threat to the whole country,” the report said.

Acharya said he is happy to see more one-horned rhinos, but noted the rising population posed new problems for conservationists.

He said the forest area home to the rhinos could not be increased and authorities needed to ensure the animals had proper access to food and water.

“It is a challenge but we are managing the habitat intensively to support the higher density,” he said.

CNN’s Swati Gupta contributed to this article.

Posted on

Indian capital to convert banquet halls and hotels into Covid treatment facilities

Health workers take care of Covid-19 patients at Shehnai banquet hall, which has been converted into a Covid care center in New Delhi, India on April 13. Mohd Zakir/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Banquet halls and hotels in the Indian capital region of Delhi are being converted into “extended Covid hospitals” as cases continue to surge during the country’s second wave.

A total of 23 hotels and banquets halls will be linked to private hospitals to add more than 2,000 additional beds, according to an order by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday. Patients will be sent to the hotels and linked private hospitals depending on their condition.

“The hotel shall provide regular hotel services, including rooms, housekeeping, disinfection and food for the patients for a price not greater than Rs5,000 ($66) for five-star hotels and not more than Rs4,000 ($53) for three/four-star hotels per day per person,” read the order, tweeted by Jain.

For oxygen support, Rs2,000 ($26) can be charged per day, the order stated.

Government hospitals have also increased their number of beds and oxygen support, Jain said.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded 17,282 new cases, its highest single-day figure since the start of the pandemic. Since April 11, Delhi has recorded more than 10,000 cases per day — the positivity rate has jumped from 9.43% to 15.92%.

Nationwide second wave: India surpassed 14 million total cases on Thursday, with numbers rising every day as the second wave sweeps the country.

India recorded 200,739 new cases on Wednesday — the first time it has surpassed the 200,000 mark.

The country has reported more than 173,000 total coronavirus deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.